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What The Fuck Is Going On In Politics? The Weekly Rundown

Source: CNN

Who is Ahmaud Arbery? What is going on in Venezuela? What did Boris Johnson say about lockdown in the UK? Here’s all you need to know.

By Julie Ngalle

National Politics:

Coronavirus update: 

On the 10th of May 2020, Boris Johnson gave a speech detailing how and when lockdown would be eased in the UK. During this, a “conditional plan” to reopen society was presented where the new campaign message “stay alert” replaces the current “stay at home” one. For one, working from home is still recommended but people who are not able to are still advised to go to work, as long as they avoid public transport when possible and respect sanitary measures: staying at least 2 meters away, washing hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, etc. 

From Wednesday 13th of May, people will be able to practice “unlimited” outdoor exercise and venture through parks. The reopening of schools is also being debated and primary schools could potentially reopen from the 1st of June but not any earlier. The hospitality industry and shops could start to reopen from July, but this again will be revised as the situation evolves over the next two months. 

Finally, all people travelling to the UK by air from this point on will need to self-isolate for a period of two weeks, but this is a measure that does not apply to people travelling from or to France. In London however, it is still strongly advised that people stay home whenever possible as numbers are still high in the capital. Overall, despite the lack of clarity raised by many, the main point that the public took from the Prime Minister’s speech is that whenever possible, isolation is still recommended despite some freedom being given back to UK citizens. 

Those measures with apply to England, with the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland adopting their own courses of action to ease the lockdown. 

Source: BBC News

International Politics: 

What happened to Ahmaud Arbery? 

On the 6th of May, a video surfaced online of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, which occurred on the 23rd of February in the US state of Georgia. Arbery, an African-American citizen, was shot dead by a white neighbour and his son whilst on a run. The reason behind this shooting? Both men suspected the young black man might have been a burglar. Now, putting aside the rising debate questioning whether a potential burglar deserved to be shot and killed, the more important part of this story lies in the fact that Ahmaud Arbery was simply going on a daily run around his neighbourhood.

The news is breaking the internet as many are appalled by the injustice of his death and by the fact that it took over two months, a video going viral and international outrage for the two culprits to be arrested. Until last week, the affair was unknown to the world and people were going about their lives as if nothing had happened. This, once again, brings attention to the United States’ very lose gun control laws but also the rampant racism within American society. Arbery’s killers have now been arrested, which is a rare instance of justice being served when it comes to the murder of black men at the hands of white Americans. 

Women soccer team equal pay demands dismissed

This week, Ahmaud Arbery’s death was not the only event causing outrage in American society. Back in March 2019, the Women’s Soccer Team had filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation claiming they were paid less than the men soccer players. But, on the 2nd of May, a judge dismissed their equal pay demands, claiming that the unequal pay accusations were not justified as the women’s team had played more matches and earned more money than the men’s team within that year. Therefore, it was claimed there was no proof that the women were paid less than their male counterparts. For many, this explanation is invalid, and the pay gap between male and female players just another example of sexist practices in sports. 

Did the United States play any role in the incursion stopped in Venezuela? 

In the last two weeks, the United States have brought a lot of negative political attention on themselves. It all started a week ago when Venezuela claimed they had stopped an armed incursion. Indeed, 21 men were killed or arrested by the Venezuelan military on the 3rd of May. Of the 13 that were arrested, two of them were American citizens. They were all suspected of having been planning a terrorist attack and plotting to overthrow the government. The operation was supposedly led by retired American Green Beret Jordan Goudreau and a Venezuelan army captain, Javier Nieto. 

On the 7th of May, the narrative took a new drastic turn when one of the US mercenaries admitted that the goal of the attack was indeed to abduct and kill Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, confirming the government’s suspicions. So far, President Trump has denied the United States’ rumoured role in this incursion, but many remain unsure of the truthfulness of his statement. 

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